Some companies require nothing more than an operator’s license.
A recent case in Pompano Beach, Florida, is making insurance news as it draws the attention of the industry, as a woman fell to her death while parasailing on August 15 and the company offering the excursion was not insured.
All that was legally required for its operation was a business permit due to the lack of regulation.
The woman was Kathleen Miskell, who went parasailing through a boat operator that needed only a basic occupational license for the vehicle and a business permit to offer parasailing. The business was not required to insure itself as there is no regulation in the parasailing industry. This is the case among many forms of extreme sports businesses, and cases such as this are unfortunately making insurance news on an increasing basis.
A growing number of articles are pointing out that vacationers fail to investigate operator coverage.
As people are on holidays to have fun, they are seeking a thrill ride, such as parasailing, and aren’t taking the time to put things on pause for the time it takes to find out whether or not the providers of these experiences have any liability coverage. Though the parasailing industry does not have a requirement for a minimum liability policy, there are some operators that have chosen to cover themselves. It takes only a few moments for vacationers to find out whether or not a company has a policy that will pay them for any injuries that they experience, or for their deaths.
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In Miskell’s case, the 28 year old woman from Connecticut was tandem parasailing with her husband when her harness broke and she plummeted into the water, which was 150 to 200 feet below. She suffered cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead at Broward Health North.
This sad insurance news case is currently under investigation from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A spokesperson from that agency, Officer Jorge Pino, said that “We’re looking at the parachute, we’re looking at the ropes that were used to try to get a better picture of and understand the dynamics of this accident.”